September 13th, 2010
06:34 PM ET

Reporter says she accepts Jets owner's apology

[Updated, 6:34 p.m.] The owner of the New York Jets has apologized to a TV Azteca reporter following allegations that Jets personnel harassed her at practice this weekend, and she has accepted, the reporter told CNN's Rick Sanchez on Monday.

The NFL says it is investigating media reports that Jets players behaved inappropriately - including allegedly hooting and hollering at her in their locker room - when Ines Sainz visited the team Saturday to interview Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez for the Mexican TV network.

Sainz said Monday that Jets owner Woody Johnson called her to apologize. ESPNNewYork.com reported earlier Monday that Johnson said he offered an "open apology" to her.

"I accept the apologies, and I said thanks to him for the concern and all the rest of the team, because he promised that he is going to make everybody on his team respect … women," Sainz said on CNN's "Rick's List." "And I think the important point is that women deserve respect in any profession, so I think it's going to happen."

Sainz said that although she told Johnson not to worry, she did feel a little uncomfortable because of players' behavior in the locker room, and that she thinks the behavior was unacceptable.

"I think that it’s not good that this kind of thing happened, and it mustn't happen anymore. I'm agreeing with the idea that it's good that everybody knows that a woman or a man deserve the same treatment in the locker room," Sainz said.

According to the New York Post, Sainz claims that while she was standing on the sidelines at practice, Jets coach Rex Ryan and a member of his staff overthrew passes so they would land near her.

Then, when she entered the locker room to interview Mark Sanchez, she said she heard players discussing her.

"I try not to hear anything, try not to pay attention. My cameraman told me, 'Don't look on the right, don't look at the left," she said. "But I really feel the noise and all the environment was talking about me."

She said she never felt she was in danger in the locker room. Later, she said, other reporters said they heard the players say things about her that she didn’t hear.

"One colleague – one female colleague – came with me and [told] me, 'I'm so sorry. It mustn't happen. It's not OK,'" Sainz said. "So I tried to calm her. … I really know that she [heard] something that I didn't hear, and the rest of the media … heard things that I didn't really hear. So I really appreciate the concern about it."

[Original post, 9:58 a.m.] The New York Jets think this is their year. They were one game from the Super Bowl last season, were just featured on HBO’s NFL documentary series “Hard Knocks” and their coach Rex Ryan is on the cover of this week’s New York Times magazine and seems to love putting himself and his team in the spotlight.

So you’d think that with their season starting tonight with the first game in their brand new stadium, on Monday Night Football no less, they’d be thrilled to be on the front page of the New York tabloid papers. But today’s publicity isn't the kind of publicity the Jets really want - the league is investigating whether coach Ryan, a member of his staff, and some of his players behaved inappropriately toward TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz.

Sainz, working with one of the most popular Mexican TV networks, was at the Jets camp Saturday to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez.

According to the New York Post, Sainz claims Ryan and assistant coach Dennis Thurman overthrew passes so they would land near her. The Post also says Jets players allegedly hooted and hollered with Sainz walked in the locker room.

Sainz, former Miss Spain, tweeted that she was “dying of embarrassment” according the Post.

Sainz' Twitter page

TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz pictured during the 2007 Super Bowl.

Sainz, being her own Monday morning quarterback, addressed the concerns in an interview with a TV Azteca reporter, saying while she was embarrassed, she didn't realize it was going to become that big of a deal.

Sainz told her colleague that she did notice that footballs were being thrown her way but, “to be quite honest, it didn’t bother me… I took it as a joke, and none of the footballs actually hit me.”

“It was definitely a joking tone, very amicable," Sainz said, regarding the tone Sanchez had with her. “I wasn’t offended.”

But she did say in the interview that she didn't hear everything said about her - and apparently several other members of the media took the interactions much more seriously. She added perhaps they heard something she hadn't.

“I was surprised to wake up on Sunday and have a call from the NFL , saying that they wanted to talk to me about what had happened at the Jets; and I asked… what happened?" Sainz told TV Azteca. "And they said well there is a pretty powerful accusation of harassment and then it was at that point I realized the magnitude of what had happened. “

The NFL says it’s investigating and The Association for Women in Sports Media says the Jets and the league have been responsive to their concerns. They also say on their website that they plan to hold an educational session for the Jets this week or next.

The Jets are one of the favorites to go the Super Bowl this season, but the New York Daily News’s Gary Myers looks at how this incident could derail the team if they’re not careful.

soundoff (861 Responses)
  1. I've got problems...

    I wanna touch her heini. I want to make love to her.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Patropolis

    Wow why haven't we seen this beauty before. I hope she gets a spread in playboy ASAP. I bet Hef is on the phone right now. She is a 10!!!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason "DaElmer" Asselin - CNN I-Reporter

    I have posted my response to this Story- Please watch
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-492102

    September 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mojo

    Why did she enter the players change room is the first place? She knows it is not a place for a girl to be in while the players are changing.....unless she has other ideas in her mind !!!!!!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jason

    First point, there's not nearly enough pictures accompanying this story. Secondly, don't send hot women into men's bathrooms for interviews and then complain about being harassed. Wait until the men have left the bathroom before attempting to speak with them.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Acaraho

    Here's what's acceptable behavior: If a player sees this woman and is attracted to her then he should keep his comments to himself if either he or she is engaged or married. If neither are engaged or married and he is interested, then the player should speak out of respect to her and ask her for a date. Any other behavior other than that of a respectful social nature is not only out of line but serves no constructive purpose to anyone. BTW – she's adorable.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ENF

    So let's get something straight. The locker rooms at a million dollar facility are not like the ones in a high school. There are separate rooms to shower change etc. So enough with the women shouldn't be allowed in the locker room nonsense. Secondly NO ONE not even the male reporters want to see anything. In an ideal world we would sit in a press conference room and wait. Unfortunately we have to chase after the players to even get a sound bite. It's those sound bites you men so eagerly listen to every day on TV or the radio or the internet or whatever.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stan the Man

    Id hit that ...

    but she would be hotter if she lost 10-15 lbs

    September 14, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mario

    Ask her if she could go into a Mexican team locker room.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mario

    Ask her if she what would happen if she entered a Mexican team locker room

    September 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Liz

    Can you say "career move?" One can't buy the kind of publicity that she's getting without pimping oneself.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. terry

    Whatever, any time you let a girl in a mens locker room full of boys you are asking for trouble. Thats the boys house and she needs to interview the boys some where else. No one touched her, she didn't get hurt, and if a ladie is willing to walk in a locker room full of men she can surely be able to handle some comments from the boys if she can't well then stay out.

    Terry

    September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Danny

    How about dressing like a professional to start with instead of hoping to pick-up a millionaire football player. A good time to ask if she's here legally.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JDCong

    My god she looks, talks, acts, and probably smells like a tramp.

    You're telling me that the Jets did something wrong here? I really hate when people act a certain way to get attention and then cry when they actually get that attention. She's literally begging for it.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. t

    Yep, men just naturally have no self control. Maybe the reporters should wear burkhas. You can blame men's actions on what the woman was wearing. They are adults who should be able to control themselves...they should be able to act professionally and like grown ups. That being said...why the hell are female reporters allowed in the men's locker room where men are trying to shower and change. I can't imagine a male reporter being allowed in a women's locker room. Come on! Wait outside and catch them when they're fully dressed, then you won't have to worry about which way you look.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
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